A federal High court, Port Harcourt Division in River State, Nigeria presided over by Justice E.A. Obile has jailed a citizen of South American from Suriname, Dadda Lorenzo Harvy Albert for 13 years jail tern for illicit drug smuggling.
34-year-old man was arrested at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Port Harcourt, Rivers state for bringing into Nigeria 117 parcels of cocaine concealed in extra-large latex condoms factory packed inside bottles of 100ml body spray into Nigeria.
The suspect told the court that he departed his Country, Suriname, located in the North Eastern coast of South America on 2nd April for Sao Paulo, Brazil and from Sao Paulo to Nigeria on Friday 7th April, 2023 on board Qatar Airways flight in search of his long-lost Nigerian father whom he called “Omini”.
But the Surinamese pleaded guilty to the two-count charge and after the review of the evidence of the case on Thursday 20th July, he was convicted before he was sentenced to 13 years imprisonment on both counts without an option of fine.
In his ruling, Justice Obile declared that You Dadda Lorenzo Harvy Albert is hereby sentenced to 13 years imprisonment without option of fine on Count 1 and Count 2 also. And both shall run concurrently.
The trial judge also ordered the forfeiture of the sum of Ninety ($90) United States Dollars and Ten (R$10) Brazilian Real recovered from the convict at the time of his arrest to the Federal Government.
The court equally refused the application by Lorenzos Counsel for him to be deported back to his country. As a result, the convict is now serving his term of imprisonment at the Correctional Centre, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
A statement by the spokesman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Femi Babafemi said the successful prosecution and conviction of Lorenzo is one of the One Thousand Four Hundred and Forty-Five (1,445) drug cases concluded at the Federal High Court across Nigeria between January and June 2023 by the Directorate of Prosecution and Legal Services of NDLEA with the trial of a total of 11,166 other drug suspects ongoing in court.
Out of the 1,445 convicts, 221 of them are female while the balance of 1,541 are male, while 11,166 pending cases, 10,626 of them are men while the rest, 540 are women.
The 1,445 convicts and 11,166 suspects who are still facing trial were arrested and charged to court over the seizure of 555,953.70 kilograms of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, cannabis, tramadol and others linked to them between January and June 2023.
Responding to the landmark judgement, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Mohamed Buba Marwa, according to the statement, commended officers and men of the prosecution department for a job well done.
He charged them to remain committed to diligent prosecution of all pending cases in court, noting that conviction and sentencing without the option of fine is a strong deterrence to offenders and anyone contemplating going into any crime.